Today, VPNs no more remain a strange technology. VPNs now have multiple use cases, becoming an essential privacy tool for everyone. Therefore, it’s vital to know about the various VPN connection protocols to make the best of this tool. One of the most common protocols you’ll see in most VPN services is the IKEv2 protocol. (You may also frequently find it as “IKEv2/IPSec” protocol.)
This article elaborates on the IKEv2/IPSec protocol, how it works, comparison with other protocols, and much more.
IKEv2/IPSec protocol: The definition
Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) is a popular tunneling protocol that controls request and response actions. In addition, it establishes and handles the Security Association (SA) attribute to protect the communication between two entities.
The first version, Internet Key Exchange (IKE), was introduced in 1998 as IKE version 1 (IKEv1). It was later upgraded to Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) in 2005.
IKEv2 is popular because it is faster, secure, stable, has low CPU usage, and quick reconnection. Also, it is a bit lightweight, so it is suitable for mobile devices, especially iOS.
Usually, IKEv2 is paired with the authentication suite IPSec, a joint project between Microsoft and Cisco to form IKEv2/IPSec protocol. This combination is more secure and uses fewer resources to protect connections.
How does IKEv2/IPSec work?
Since IKEv2 frequently works when coupled with IPSec, the steps outlined below define how the two protocols work together.
First, the protocol uses a Diffie-Hellman (DH) key exchange algorithm to protect communication between the VPN server and your device.
Then, IKEv2 uses the secure communication channel to create a security association (SA). It ensures that your device and the server communicate with similar encryption keys and algorithms.
After creating the security association, IPSec establishes a secure tunnel to route traffic from your device to the server and vice versa.
In the upgraded form (IKEv2), the IKE protocol provides tremendous benefits for users to enjoy a seamless internet experience most safely.
Below are some noteworthy benefits of this protocol that elaborate on why IKEv2 is popular among VPN services.
The protocol offers advanced security and even supports other encryption ciphers for maximum protection. So, it is suitable for activities that require strong security, such as downloading torrents and accessing the dark web.
A protocol with massive security will likely have slow speeds, but not IKEv2/IPSec. The protocol offers solid security features and still maintains excellent speed. Hence, it will encrypt your data and efficiently perform data-intensive tasks such as gaming, torrenting, or streaming content.